Friday, 5 October 2012

Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry with Onion Fritters

We are starting off our first week of cooking with the recipes of Madhur Jaffrey over at I♥CookingClubs and I decided to start off with a vegetarian feast. 

As a Canadian, I feel perfectly justified in mixing and matching cultures on my plate and love the wide range of dishes Madhur has to offer. 

To pair with the spicy Sri Lankan curry, which I adapted for a stint in the slow cooker so I could dedicate my last hour of cooking to my onion fritters - I added sliced hard boiled egg, chopped fresh tomato tossed with fresh cilantro, brown basmati rice and the aforementioned onion fritters with a delicious tongue-cooling herbed yogurt sauce. 

What a great way to kick this season of cooking club off with a bang! 

If you are interested in cooking Madhur Jaffrey's recipes with us this term, join in any time! 

Grilling instead of frying - less oil!

Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey, World Vegetarian

3 lbs eggplants, cut into rounds, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and black pepper, grilled and cooled to the touch

1 can coconut milk (unsweetened)

2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
2 shallots, sliced into thin rings
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground fennel
2 tsp ground cayenne (or less, if you don't like heat)
4 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
small handful curry leaves
kosher salt to taste
Juice of 2 limes

A little hard boiled egg makes a great condiment
Adapted for the slow cooker - heat up the coconut milk in your medium sized slow cooker on high while you make your seasonings.

In a pan, heat up oil. Add in thinly sliced shallots and fry on med-high heat. Add in spices and keep stirring. When hot and fragrant, remove from heat and add in the lime juice.

Pour seasoning mix into hot coconut milk.

Cut grilled eggplant rounds into quarters and pile into seasoned coconut milk in slow cooker. Cook on high for an hour or so, until bubbling and nicely melded. Check for flavour adjustments and serve with rice.

Like a donut - but onionier!
Onion Fritters/Bhaji
from Madhur Jaffrey Quick and Easy Indian Cooking
Online recipe source here

        1 large eggs
        1 tablespoon lemon juice
        100 g chickpea flour ( also called gram flour or besan)
        3/4 teaspoon salt
        1/2 teaspoon chili powder
        1/2 teaspoon garam masala
        1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
        1 tablespoon ground cumin
        1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
        1 fresh hot green chili peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
        2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, leaf
        vegetable oil ( for frying)
        200 g onions, peeled and chopped into medium sized diced


    Break the egg into a bowl and beat well, add 4 tbs water and the lemon juice. Mix, add the flour and mix well with a whisk. Put in the spices, coriander leaf and chilli if using. Mix well and set aside for at least 10 minutes or longer. Mix again with a whisk. The batter should be of a fairly thick, droppable consistency.
    Heat the oil in a wok or deep fat fryer over a medium heat. A minimum of 3 inches is required in the centre of a wok. When the oil is ready, put the onions in the batter and mix – this is always best done just before cooking.
    Take heaped tsp of the batter and drop into the hot oil. Use all the batter this way. Stir and fry the fritters for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

Everyone had seconds of these fritters
Fresh Green Chutney
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey, Quick and Easy Indian Cooking

In mortar and pestle, bash 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves with 3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves and a pinch of kosher salt. Add in a Tbsp of lemon juice and a cup of yogurt and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Refrigerate until needed.

A lovely family feast - thanks MJ!